Thursday, January 12, 2017

Headlines below the fold

4Chan punks McCain, and chaos follows.

Are we supposed to think Trump was so stupid he didn't know Russian hotels are bugged? If he was that stupid, he shouldn't be president.

Of course, Hillary had an insecure email server, which is almost like putting a sign up and saying "hack me", but never mind.

Glenn Greenwald just shrugs and says: the "deep state" is trying to destroy him. A similar story was discussed on C2C a few days ago.

IN the meanwhile, what are they talking about in Davos? Anyone? Anyone?

UKGuardian list here

In an opening address to the conference in the exclusive ski resort, Xi will defend globalisation as US President-elect Donald Trump’s threatens trade barriers and a US retreat from international deals. Xi will warn other world leaders, business executives and celebrities that the rise of populism could lead to “war, poverty, confrontation and domination” as he takes on the mantle of defending globalisation.

That's rich from a country that is not a democracy, and who breaks the rules to win at business, including manipulating their currency to under price the competition..., and for poor countries, this includes china's dumping and smuggling in cheap goods that destroy local economies (cheap illegal onion imports is harming local farmers in our area), and then there are the problems of shoddy goods, and fake drugs that kill millions..

In another story ignored by the press: Mexico let the price of gasoline rise by stopping subsidies, and people rioted. Austin Bay has the story and the backstory.

All those greens who think people should live in poverty forget that oil runs the world. And, despite Davos and the Pope shouting "income inequality", a lot of countries have a growing middle class and will not be happy when they can't keep up their lifestyle: Fans, cellphones, and motorcycles.

The "inequality" part sounds horrible, but the dirty little secret is not that the poor are poorer (there is little starvation except in socialist countries) but that the rich are richer.

Yes, Mr Kristoff in the NYT blamed Mozambique's hunger problem on global warming, (which is Trump's fault, even though he isn't president yet) but the real reason for that country's economic problems is bad government. I mean, even Mugabe managed to stop his people from starving during recent droughts.

It's not global warming, it's the corruption stupid. LINK2

As for doughts: that area of Africa has periodic droughts. Zimbabwe had a huge one a few years ago and had a drought when I was there in the 1970's, and the locals told me there was one in the 1950's, where they ate yellow corn sadza imported from Kenya instead of the white corn version. So it's not a new problem.

Indeed one wonders if drought was behind the demise of Great Zimbabwe, or the reason for the migration of the Zulu tribe into south Africa 500 years ago.

But never mind. Get rid of the tse tse fly, irrigate, and voila, another bread basket that can feed the world.

This (anti Chinese) article says the stories about China developing Africa's agriculture are overhyped, but admits they are doing quite a lot, and a lot of their difficulty is local customs, not climate change.

For example, as Jing Gu and colleagues explain, in Xai Xai in Mozambique, the Wanbao agricultural development company from Hubei province took over 20,000 hectares on a state farm to farm rice, and develop a contract farming arrangement with surrounding farms.
It has not been easy. There have been a number of changes in company leads, disputes with local communities, and shifting alliances with local elites, as Kojo Amanor and Sergio Chichava set out.
The training of government officials is an important aspect of the Chinese engagement in Africa. More than 10,000 are trained in numerous courses in China each year, many in agriculture. This far exceeds any training initiative of any western aid programme.
 The world is interconnected (which is how Yellow fever in Angola spread to China a few months back). But Trumpie boy knows that: He is just playing the art of the deal (or the Art of war) with China, and the result will be that both countries will become richer.

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